Johnson helps Lightning beat Senators 5-3 for 6th straight

January 4, 2020

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — After giving up the go-ahead goal in the closing seconds of the second period, the Tampa Bay Lightning were fired up during the second intermission. They used that anger to fuel a strong third period to keep their winning streak going.

Tyler Johnson scored with 1:30 left in regulation, and the Lightning scored three times in the third period to beat the Ottawa Senators 5-3 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

Mark Borowiecki gave the Senators the 3-2 lead with 9 seconds remaining in the second as he fired a slap shot past Lightning goalie Curtis McElhinney.

“We were pretty lethargic the first two periods and it was a little deflating to get that goal scored with (eight seconds left,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We weren’t really getting momentum from anything, not even our power play, so we needed to regroup. We’re walking in there pissed off they scored, but it was probably the best thing for us.”

Carter Verhaeghe, Kevin Shattenkirk, Brayden Point and Alex Killorn also scored for Tampa Bay. Curtis McElhinney stopped 25 shots.

Chris Tierney and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Senators, and Craig Anderson finished with 23 saves. Ottawa has lost four straight while being outscored 20-11.

“I thought we played really well,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “I thought we probably out-chanced them. I thought we skated the best we’ve skated in a couple weeks. We were on pucks, we had some chances and they just found a way to win.”

After Johnson’s tiebreaking goal, the final minute of play had the home fans on their feet as many believed the Senators had tied the score again, but the goal was called off because Colin White deliberately head-butted the puck past McElhinney.

“In the moment I didn’t know the rule so just thought I would try that instead,” White said. “Rule’s a rule so I can’t complain, but I tried it and obviously it didn’t work out for a goal, but I’ll know for the future.”

Killorn sealed the win with an empty-netter with 7 seconds remaining.

Borowiecki’s goal capped a wild second period that saw the teams combine for five goals after a scoreless first.

“We knew we hadn’t played our best game yet,” Shattenkirk said. “Obviously going down by a goal we knew if we got back to our principles, we would get our chances. We were patient with it."

Point tied it at 8:37 of the third as he showed some patience to handcuff Borowiecki and fire a shot past Anderson.

“A team like that has so much firepower up front and the back end, too, and they start coming in waves in the third and pushing, it’s tough,” Borowiecki said. “They’ve got guys who can make plays and make things happen and unfortunately we weren’t tight enough in the third and they made us pay.”

Tierney missed a great chance in the final minute of play in the first period, but made up for it by scoring short-handed in the first minute of the second to open the scoring. On an odd-man rush, Tierney deflected a shot off Victor Hedman’s stick and in at 46 seconds. It was the Senators’ eighth short-handed goal of the season.

The Lightning scored twice in 65 seconds to take the lead. First, Hedman found Verhaeghe in the slot and he buried the puck into an empty cage at 2:40. Then, just over a minute later, a trailing Shattenkirk picked up a loose puck and fired it past Anderson.

Pageau matched his career-high with his 19th on a one-timer that beat McElhinney blocker side to tie it 2-2. It was also his first power-play goal of the season.

NOTES: D Mike Reilly, acquired from Montreal on Thursday, made his debut for the Senators. ... Ottawa’s Anthony Duclair is day-to-day after blocking a shot in Thursday’s game against Florida. ... Scott Sabourin was a healthy scratch for the Senators as Mikkel Boedker entered the lineup for the first time since Nov. 25. ... Ottawa lost for just the second time in 14 games when leading after two periods. ... The Lightning won for just the fourth time in 13 games in which they trailed after two periods. ... Tampa Bay has now allowed seven short-handed goals. ... The Lightning lost D Ryan McDonagh with an undisclosed injury after the first period. Cooper said McDonagh is doubtful for Sunday’s game against Carolina.


Lightning: At Carolina on Sunday to wrap up a four-game trip.

Senators: At Washington on Tuesday night.